Crusader basketball came to a close this past week, with both the men’s and women’s teams finishing their seasons with a strong second half. With another season of Christendom basketball now complete, the hard work and dedication shown by both teams throughout the year bodes well for the future of the sport at Christendom.
“This season was characterized by something truly special: team. If you found yourself sitting in the stands, or looking through the windows of the gym during practice, selfish laziness and individualism wouldn’t be something you’d have noticed. What you would notice is that Christendom basketball put forth tremendous determination and perseverance this year,” says senior Jeremy Minick.
A 2012 recipient of the Thomas S. Vander Woude athletic scholarship, Minick is a Crusader veteran, finishing this season as one of the top scorers on the team. “These young men and women—these individuals—are not unified by scholarship; instead, these men and women work together as a team because of their love of sports and their desire to give glory to God through basketball.”
On the women’s side of the court, the Lady Crusaders completed the season 7-6, finishing 4-2 in the second half. The addition of freshmen twins Dylan and Bryn Burgess provided a versatile scoring threat throughout the year, bringing a consistent mid-range game along with crafty moves under the basket. Bryn Burgess, in particular, was the second leading scorer in the nation in December according to the USCAA, with an average of 22.7 points per game.
Sophomore Elizabeth Ford extended the floor with deadly 3-point range, while junior Bridget McMahon excelled in her consistency to grab rebounds and add needed points. Even more energy and value was added by freshmen Noelle Harrington, Madeline Hill, Danielle Corcoran, Libby Petersen, sophomores Colleen McCrum, Elizabeth Wilson, Mary Solitario, and junior Sarah Slaten. Senior team captains Mary Barbale and Elizabeth Slaten showed leadership and steadiness in tight games and big moments, with Barbale completing her Crusader run as the best female athlete to ever play on the court at Christendom.
The men’s team finished 4-4 in the spring, completing the season 5-10. The men’s team, like the women’s, featured an underclassmen heavy roster. With a guard oriented starting lineup, the team favored an up-tempo style. Sophomore Mike McMahon led the scoring charge with his relentless attacking mentality. Fellow sophomores Thomas Hepler and Stephen Foeckler stretched the floor with their outside range. Freshmen Luke Kopeck, Kieran O’Donnell, and sophomores Andrew Ford and Joe Pennafather, provided solid minutes and utility play in key moments. Enormous energy was added from the bench by freshmen Nick Santschi, junior Joe McMahon, and senior Jeremy Minick. Senior Micah Davis continued to show the heart and hustle that has been a trademark of his four years at Christendom in his final season.
The individual talent, especially provided by underclassmen, and strong team play on both teams bodes well for the future of Crusader basketball as they look towards next season.